A group of Assamese dancers perform Jhumur, the dance form associated with tea gardens
Asam, known for its picturesque river basins and tea gardens in and around the Brahmaputra Valley, is steeped in the arts with music occupying a special place. The sounds change with every region. There is Jhumur dance (associated with tea gardens), Bihu (the celebrated folk dance and music) and Kamrupi lokgeet (music from the Kamrup district) to name a few. Amid the melodies, there also lies a rich tradition of folk tales and folklore. “I used to listen to a lot of stories from my grandmother, both fictional as well as mythological,” recalls singer Joi Barua, who hails from Jorhat. The 39-year-old didn’t take the Bihu route to come under spotlight. He stuck to his Rock sound, but wrote songs based on those old stories.
Singer Joi Barua borrows from traditional folk tales of Assam and incorporates them in his music. Pic/Nimish Jain
Barua, who juggles between working in films (including regional projects) and making independent music, will present a set of stories in the form of music with his band, Joi, at the Living Traditions concert that celebrates the northeastern state.
“We are a Rock band in the World Music space. We try to retell folklore, talk about the history of traditions as well as contemporary history through our songs. I also like to weave music around traditions still in practice,” shares Barua, who composed two songs sketching the antiquity of bareback horse races in Jorhat. The event, more than 100 years old, doesn’t allow jockeys to have a saddle or a stirrup. One of the compositions is Riders Of The Mist. “It talks about the origins of the races and the horses (there are many horses who are brought to the race from across the Brahmaputra River). There is another song on the same subject, called Pitol Soku. In Assamese, Pitol means brass and soku means eyes. It means a jockey with copper eyes. The song has a stadium-like vibe to it,” he explains.
On the other hand, the song Tejimola is about a girl who was tortured and beaten to death by her stepmother. “This is a story written in the early part of the last century. She is buried in the garden and a flower blossoms out of her grave one day. The story celebrates the girl in different forms,” says Barua, who was inspired to make original and independent music after listening to the stalwarts, Khagen Mahanta and Dr Bhupen Hazarika in his early days.
“I have grown up within the tradition of listening to music about the land, the rivers and the culture. My band will be presenting the same kind of music in the contemporary fashion. These songs shaped our state as well as our musical selves,” he reasons.
Barua’s music pays tribute to his homeland and Mumbai — his current work sphere. He has sung tracks like Dusokute (Margarita WithâÂ€ÂˆA Straw), Dil Dhadakne Do (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) and KahaniâÂ€ÂˆAankhonâÂ€ÂˆKe Pardon Pe (Udaan) and more.
On: Today and March 19, 6.30 pm
At: NCPA, Nariman Point.
Cost: Rs 200 onwards
Three films — Land Of The Brahmaputra, Purwottar Ki Parwaz, and Satras and Namghars of Assam — will be screened at the curtain raiser. The first film (black and white) focuses on the river and how it helps the state reap rich harvests. The second traces the conservation of birds and the heritage of the Kaziranga forest while the last narrative illustrates the lives of two indigenous tribes.
A contingent comprising musicians and dancers will showcase the rich folk music history of the state, including Borgeet (invocation of Krishna practised by the Vaishnava sect), Jhumur, Bihu and Kamrupi lokgeet.
PodcastsâÂÂÂ€ÂÂÂˆ- best described as audio shows you can play at your convenience on your smartphone - are now enjoying immense popularity in the US, and have begun picking steam in India, too. Earlier called audioblogging, podcasting became more commonplace only in the 2000s, with the introduction of broadband Internet and portable devices such as the iPod.
If you're interested in learning about this medium, head over to The Revolver Club for two workshops that will equip you with all the information you need to start producing your own audio podcasts.
The workshops, conducted by podcast experts Chhavi Sachdev and Dhaval Mehta, will take you through not just the basics of creating content, but also deal with radio etiquette, sound editing, distribution platforms, and how you can go about marketing your finished product.
Make it available
Chhavi Sachdev, who runs audio content and production house Sonologue, first began making podcasts back in 2008. "Smartphones weren't really around when I started. Recording a podcast involved a lot of effort, and only a diehard enthusiast would do it. Today, it is simpler once you learn the necessary skills," says Sachdev, who is a regular contributor to BBC and NPR podcasts.
At the upcoming workshop, she will touch on the basics of podcasting. "I'll begin with how you can fine-tune the kind of content you want to talk about, move on to what equipment to use, and how you can record and mix. Finally, I will discuss how you can distribute your podcast," adds Sachdev.
Make it visible
Dhaval Mehta, CEO of digital marketing agency DPM*Social, will follow this up with a workshop on podcast marketing. "Although I've been making podcasts since 2005, this is the first time I'm hosting a workshop on the subject," he says. Mehta will share his personal trade secrets on how he promoted various podcasts in non-traditional ways to gain listeners.
"Earlier, I used to email newsletters about my latest podcast to friends and family. It's a simple thing that worked. Today, getting your podcast to a larger audience would involve sharing it on social media platforms."
Interested folks may sign up for one or both workshops. All you need is your laptop, headphones and ideas for that path-breaking podcast.
ON: March 18, 10.30 am (Podcasting 101), 2.30 pm (Podcast Marketing 101)
AT: The Revolver Club, Fairlands Building, LJâÂÂÂ€ÂÂÂˆRoad, Mahim (W).
LOG ON TO: bit.ly/MPodW, http://bit.ly/podmktg, http://bit.ly/podmktg
COST: Rs 2,500 (Podcasting 101), Rs 999 (Podcast Marketing 101)
Search engine giant Google unveiled a special doodle on Holi. The doodle shows a group of children splashing the Google logo with many colours.
According to Google, "Today, the Google letters are taking on a fresh set of colors in honor of the Holi festival. Coinciding with the arrival of spring, the vibrant celebration looks a lot like the Doodle: people run around happily covering each other in a rainbow of powdery hues.
Amid the cloud of red, blue, yellow, green, and everything in between, festival-goers can often be found laughing, singing, and dancing in the streets. The joyous event, which takes place in India, Nepal, and other countries around the world, traditionally marks the triumph of good over evil. It also gives family and friends a chance to simply come together, enjoying a spirited “Festival of Colors” that undoubtedly lives up to its name."
Holi is a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal, also known as the "festival of colours" or the "festival of love", It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.
The first day is known as Holika Dahan (à¤¹à¥ÂŠà¤²à¤¿à¤Â•à¤¾ à¤¦à¤¹à¤¨) or Chhoti Holi and the second as Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Dhulivandan.
till Mar 15 This Holi, say hello to The Holy Freak! Sip on this tall sinful glass of rabdi churned with vanilla ice cream, cake and milk, layered with special home-made jalebis and topped with colourful sprinkles.
TIME: 9 am to 1 am
AT: D:OH!, ground floor, Unit 2B, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
COST: Rs 299
Fashion for men
ongoing Gentlemen, give your appearance a touch of glam with the Black collection featuring bracelets crafted in Onyx stone and pure leather, cufflinks, pocket squares, lapel pins and tie bars in quirky designs.
log on to thebrocode.in
ongoing Add some bling to your life with the jewellery from Radhika Jain, which features pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings made using handcrafted fibres finished with metallic elements.
AT: FUEL Store, 14th Road, off Linking Road, Khar (W).
TIME: 11 am to 8 pm
till mar 13 Ladies, avail a stylish deal where, for every handbag you purchase, you get a discount of 30 per cent on any mobile pouch and sling bag.
AT All Baggit outlets.
log on to baggit.com
A visual feast
till tues, mar 7 Attend a solo exhibition of abstract paintings by Chandrakant Prajapati. His artworks are colourful, and he uses rollers, bold brushstrokes and knife work to create hidden patterns and shapes.
TIME: 11 am to 7 pm
AT: Jehangir Art Gallery, 161B, MG Road, Kala Ghoda.
starts tues, mar 7 Catch a series of paintings, Living Lines at 360âÂ°, which is an extension of Ashok Hinge's earlier Living Lines series. This one looks at the
common man and society, including family bonding, friendships and crowded market places.
TIME: 11 am to 7 pm
AT: Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Discovery of India Building, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.
wed, mar 8 Take your girlfriends, sisters, daughters or mothers and join a painting party with Bombay Drawing Room. Art supplies, a glass of Sangria and an appetiser will be provided.
TIME: 11 am onwards
AT: Raasta, Rohan Plaza, SV Road, Khar (W).
log on to: instamojo.com
COST: Rs 1,650
tues, mar 7 Get your weekly dose of laughter from Amit Tandon, the comedian known as 'the married guy' of stand-up comedy. His humour centres on everyday life and issues that affect all of you.
TIME: 11 am onwards
AT: Hard Rock Cafe, Sharyans Audeu, Fun Cinema Lane, near Balaji Telefilms, Andheri.
log on to: insider.in
COST: Rs 500 (Entry) + RS 500 (Cover)
Every Monday Men, this deal is for you. Drop in at Khandani Rajdhani and get a 50 per cent discount on your thalis. Enjoy dishes like Masaledar Puri Bhaji, Zaikedar Paneer Aur Masala Dal Ke Saath Roti Chawal, Karare Farsan, Amdavad Ni Dhokla ke Sath Khatta Meetha Chutney, Crispy Jalebi and Swadisht Rabdi, Rasila Gulab Jamoon, and Halwa.
TIME: 12 to 3.30 pm, 7 pm to 11 pm
AT: All Khandani Rajdhani outlets.
CALL: 65226074 (Ghatkopar)
till mar 12 Savour the lost cuisine of Uttarakhand at a Flavors of Garhwal food festival. The food includes Urad Dal Pakodia, Jakhiya Machchi, Mutton Tari, Koda Khichdi, Jhangora Khichdi, Kafuli and authentic Garhwali desserts like Jhangore ki Kheer, Till a Laddoo and Swala Bhangjiri.
AT: JW Cafe, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar.
COST: Rs 2,199 plus taxes
from wed, mar 8 Head out of the city for a grape-stomping break, featuring walks through vineyards, good food, wine tastings and a chance to see how wine is made.
TIME: 11 am onwards
AT: Soma Vine Village, Village Ganghavare, Gangapur-Ganghavare Road, Nashik.
COST: Rs 1,500 per barrel
wed, mar 8 Attend Devi Unleashed, a unique theatre experience combining monologues, story reading, classical dance and singing, performed by women artistes.
TIME: 7 pm to 8.30 pm
AT: Title Waves, St Pauls Media Complex, 24th Road, Bandra (W).
tues, mar 7 to Thurs, mar 9 Learn about the life of Albert Einstein in this Motley play. Enacted by Naseeruddin Shah, it looks at the spirit of the scientist, who was plagued with doubts and disappointments.
TIME: 6 pm, 9 pm
AT: Prithvi Theatre, 20, Janki Kutir, Juhu.
COST: Rs 500